You Can Only Do in Emergencies What You Do Every Day

Southern California wildfires raced through San Diego. (Brett Williams/Direct Relief)
Southern California wildfires raced through San Diego in 2007. (Brett Williams/Direct Relief)

As in other disaster scenarios, those affected by wildfires face a difficult set of tasks in moving from acute emergency response to recovery to rebuilding, often facing significant obstacles in the process. Wildfires can quickly change direction, leaving those nearby with little time to evacuate, and because wildfires destroy so much so quickly, they can be one of the more difficult disasters to recover from.

Wildfires can be incredibly difficult to contain, leaving nearby residents’ air quality diminished by heavy smoke and ash for days on end. While masks and medication can make a significant difference, people with asthma and other respiratory conditions face the greatest health risks from airborne particulate matter during wildfires.

Equipping Hospitals and First Responders

Direct Relief staff distribute masks to residents in Carpinteria during the Thomas Fire (photo by Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)
Direct Relief staff distribute masks to residents in Carpinteria during the Thomas Fire. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

With an increase in wildfire activity in recent years, Direct Relief has led several wildfire response efforts across the U.S.

Since 2007, Direct Relief has responded to wildfires across Western U.S., including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, and Texas, as well as globally.

Smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire linger thick in the Santa Ynez air, miles from the front lines of the blaze. (Photo courtesy of Donnie Hedden)
Smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire linger thick in the Santa Ynez air, miles from the front lines of the blaze. (Photo by Donnie Hedden for Direct Relief)

Direct Relief continues to coordinate with corporate and non-governmental organizations to ensure needed supplies are available when wildfires strike, and the organization is committed to ongoing relief efforts in wildfire situations.

Partnership Spotlight

Active Emergency Responses

Firefighters battle the Carr Fire in Shasta County last week. Direct Relief is offering respiratory masks and other supplies to healthcare facilities in areas across the state impacted by fires. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)

Wildfires

California Wildfires

Direct Relief is responding to a series of devastating fires burning across its home state of California, providing healthcare agencies and emergency responders in wildfire-affected communities with N-95 masks, medicine and other needed items.

Refugee Crisis

Rohingya Refugee Crisis

An unprecedented humanitarian emergency has been building as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have crossed the Myanmar border into neighboring Bangladesh.

Designed for Disaster